The motivation behind this blog was how one women inspired me. It seems only right that I mention other people that have inspired me in similar ways
Life can hand out some crazy shit to us all and quite often, there are one or two connections that come into our life just at the very perfect moment. This was unexpected as my years in Chiang Mai has seen me make many friends, but very few I had a real connection, a real bond with. Up until now, I accepted that it was rare to come across a friendship like this while travelling. But but but, back in November, a stocky, bearded guy from California arrived in Chiang Mai.
He arrived as a stranger. He left with me calling him a brother.
If you stood us side my side you probably wouldn’t think we had too much in common. This is simply because, on some level, we didn’t. He is highly motivated and driven. I however, lack motivation if there is no instant reward. He drinks shots of wheatgrass. I drink shots of Jim Beam. He practices yoga, fitness and meditation. I am lazy, love to sleep and, up until lately, have been a part-time meditator. He wakes up at the crack of dawn. I press the snooze button several times before I wake up momentarily hating the world and it’s early morning singing birds.
Despite all these differences; we shared a connection. A connection I can only relate to having with my own brother or sister. I was at a point in my life where I was in desperate need of family, but had chosen to return to Chiang Mai. I naively returned, in an attempt to chase my previous life, not knowing how desperately I would need unconditional acceptance of my emotions and behaviours. This is what family is for right? Well, he come along and very early on gave me the green light that I could be myself, no matter what mood I was in. Every aspect of me, it seemed, was accepted; my sadness, my lost’ness, my British’ness, my sense of humour and, to some extent, my decision to buy Nong-B.
But, like all things in this chaotic and swirly life of ours, things inevitably change and last week, he left. His purpose of being here in Chiang Mai was fulfilled. It was time for him to hug the ocean in Bali, touch base with his family and live out his dream of beginning a life in Southern California, or ‘So Caaal’. Innit?
The day he left I posted a note on his Facebook wall for all to see. I had this urge to let his friends and family know how much he had supported and inspired me during his time in Thailand. Due to my laziness and the efficiency, these days, of copy and paste, here is the post::
Normally i’d keep this more personal, but I want people that know you to know this.
You came into my life back in November2011 and for me, it was perfect timing. I was going through a dark time in my life, lost in an ocean of sadness with very little direction. I reached out to you and you gave me a much needed hand, filled with compassion, respect and brutal honesty. You were not afraid of my darkness and accepted the dark night I was, and still am, enduring. This hand showed me light and prevented me drowning in my sadness. Something I will be forever grateful for.
I respect and admire your drive and motivation in this life and it will always inspire me. You have been on a journey for the last five years and I feel you have reached a point in this life while being out here in Asia. I’m proud of you man.
I know and understand we are different on a certain level (fitness and health, hmm and EGO), but the level of consciousness, outlook on life and love we are on the same page man. We have the ability to love, the ability to connect and the ability to feel. We feel pain to an inexpressible amount, but we also feel love in the exact same way. Through this, we have shared a connection that I can now call you a brother.
Take it easy bro. Enjoy Bali. Enjoy life.
I’ll see ya on the other side
“Never try, never know”
Now, he has gone. However, in the last few months we have knotted, not only a friendship, but a brotherly bond that equals only to that of my own brother and sister.
P’Adam, brother, I am forever grateful.
PS Gonna miss ya on the other side of this world, but i’ll catch ya in ‘So Cal’.
… slash traveller.
I feel in this world some people are destined to be teachers. I knew I was the moment I taught this young child to swim resulting in him achieving his first swimming badge. He swam 5 metres unaided, unaided physically that is. Of course I had aided a little by filling his spongelike brain with skills, tips and child-like analogies for him to digest as easy as a swallowing a mouthful of rainbow tasting skittles. Essentially, I gave him confidence and taught him how to believe in himself and not just taught him the skills required.
milestone. It was this very moment I knew I was destined to be a teacher and a decade on I am still a teacher. Only now I am a teacher slash traveller in the city of Chiang Mai and I am now teaching kiddies in another art; the art of the English language. Although much less physical, the concept is still the same. I teach the children skills and ways to believe in themselves to give them the confidence to speak another language while eradicating fear. Fear of making a mistake and fear of trying and experiencing something new.
This journey began back in 2009 with Krissi suggesting a move to Chiang Mai, Thailand. We had both travelled here previously, but the thought of living, working and earning in this amazing city seemed a million miles away, both geographically and practically. However, with the power of two tenacious minds, it happened.
We booked it. We packed it. We f**ked off.
After many days of traipsing around the schools of Chiang Mai in the hot sun while donning a shirt, a tie, some trousers and my extremely impractical leather cowboy boots, it was time for a game change.
From this point onwards, networking was the game.
For me, this involved going to bars and becoming acquainted with the local foreigners and teachers that lived and worked the way I wished too. The more I socialised, the more I learnt that although dishing out resumes left, right and centre was good, networking was a vital way in getting someone to recommend you within their school. A recommendation allows a big fat foot in the door, possibly followed with a leap.
The socialising paid off and after an interview and a demonstration lesson, I landed myself a job within a well established chain of schools in Thailand. Not only this, but I was teaching English to the perfect age, four to five year old kiddies. Right now I can hear some of you squirm at the thought. Somehow their naivety and innocence inspires me. Most of them are always willing to try something new without doubt and without fear. Although we cant live our adult life exactly as a child does due to responsibility, there is certainly something we can take from children that allows us to be open, honest and willing to try new things within this world.
They inspire me.
The years after this, not only broadened my bank of nursery rhymes, but I worked, earned, paid off debts from the UK, and travelled around southern Thailand and its surrounding countries including Malaysia, Laos and Cambodia. I was even able to pick up my PADI SCUBA diving license. This is also something I have aspirations to do. I love SCUBA diving in the ‘big blue’ and to teach people the skills needed to see this underwater blueness would be amaaaaaaaaaaazin.
In this world many people are struggling to find their niche in life. Maybe there was an encounter with a family of leprechauns in a previous life I don’t know, but mine is to teach and inspire others. Whether its children, SCUBA diving or swimming, I know I want to teach.
My job now is taking me away from teaching kids, but into the world of training people to become teachers. I will be giving people the skills needed to teach and also live the life I have been living for the past two years.
Those who know, do. Those who understand, teach.